The ceremony, which was also streamed live on YouTube, took place in a hybrid format with a total of 80 nominees in attendance or participating online.
Tamhane, who is currently in Mumbai, said he was delighted the film was recognized around the world.
“It is a great honor to be nominated and then to win was like a double surprise. I am very happy that the film is recognized internationally,” said Tamhane.
“Vivek (Gomber – producer) is filming in South Africa and I really miss him. The lead actor recently became a father so he’s busy with his responsibilities. I’m going to celebrate this moment with my friends and family. It is indeed a great honor, “he added.
‘The Disciple’ follows Sharad Nerulkar (Aditya Modak), an Indian classical singer trying to achieve purity in his work as he was raised on his father’s and guru’s stories of the masters of the past.
The film also features actors Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, Deepika Bhide Bhagwat and Kiran Yadnyopavit.
Last year Tamhane won the Best Screenplay Award for “The Disciple” at the Venice Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere. The film also won the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Award and received the Amplify Voices Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“The Disciple” is the 34-year-old director’s second feature film after his acclaimed 2014 film “Short”, in which Gomber was also an actor and producer.
The other big winners of the Asian Film Awards were Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s war drama “Wife of a Spy” (Japan), which received the award for best film, the award for best actress for Aoi Yu and the award for the best costume design for Koketsu Haruki.
Zhang Yimou won the Best Director Award for “One Second” (Mainland China), which also won the Best Newcomer Award for actress Liu Haocun. Korean Yoo Ah-in, who played the silent protagonist in “Voice of Silence” (Korea), won the award for best actor, while Kim Hyun-bin won the award for best supporting actor for his role in deaf schoolboy in “The Silent Forest” (Taiwan).
Lee Byung-hun received the Award for Excellence in Asian Cinema, which celebrated his distinguished acting career spanning three years.